October 20, 2015
3 Things You Didn't Know Make You Gain Weight
Obesity is a serious matter in America. In fact, two out of three Americans are now either overweight or obese. So what's going on? Investigative health reporter Martha Rosenberg noted in a recent article that the weight of the average American increased by 24 pounds in the four decades between 1960 and 2000. To understand the causes of this, Rosenberg reviewed scientifically-backed factors that contribute to Americans’ weight gain. You may be shocked at these three offenders.
Antibiotics in Food and MedicineThere's some interesting evidence that connects antibiotic overuse and obesity, due to how microbiome influences your weight. The connection comes from linking the fact that the US uses about 30 million pounds of antibiotics each year to raise food animals, both to ward off disease as well as to promote weight gain. The research suggests that humans can experience the same effects. According to data analyzed by journalist Maryn McKenna, states with the highest level of antibiotic overuse also have the highest rates of obesity.
Other Growth-Enhancing Drugs Used in LivestockAlso used to fatten up livestock are other growth-enhancing drugs, including Ractopamine. This beta-agonist drug increases protein synthesis, which makes the animal more muscular. In human medicine, a commonly reported side effect among users of beta-agonists, like asthma medication, is weight gain.
Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals, Including PesticidesCommon household chemicals, like plastic products, are known as endocrine disruptors. They have a similar structure to natural sex hormones like estrogen, which can interfere with their normal functions. “As early as 2003, the journal of Toxicological Sciences addressed effects that endocrine disruptors have on fetal development that likely play a role in adult obesity,” Rosenberg writes.